What's Old Is New Again: New Articles Re: Figure Skating History

N_Halifax

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Excellent piece on Skate Canada and intersting quote from Peter Dunfield on Thomas, I had been a big fan of Debi, but having watched her skating from back on then on Youtube recently, her slow-ness is really noticable. Interesting because Witt, Manley, Ito and Trenary were all very fast skaters.
Glad you enjoyed reading! I've personally always found that speed isn't something that always translates well to video. I don't think I truly grasped what made Patrick Chan such a special skater - the speed, security and quality of edges - until I saw him live... and then it was like an 'aha' moment.

The latest Skate Guard blog is up... it explores the story of Norwegian skating pioneer Martinus Lørdahl:

http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/04/a-versatile-sportsman-martinus-lrdahl.html
 

Weve3

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Martinus Lordahl... What a story that is. He lived quite a life, didn't he? Heartbreaking that he lost a foot and then tragically his life. He was a pioneer in his day, for sure. I would say Martinus left behind a most inspirational and lasting legacy.

Enjoyed! Thanks again, @N_Halifax. 👏🏼 🙌🏼
 
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skatesindreams

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Martinus Lordahl... What a story that is. He lived quite a life, didn't he? Heartbreaking that he lost a foot and then tragically his life. He was a pioneer in his day, for sure. I would say Martinus left behind a most inspirational and lasting legacy.

Enjoyed! Thanks again, @N_Halifax. 👏🏼 🙌🏼
ITA.
What an amazing legacy.
Thanks for providing the spotlight he deserves!
 

N_Halifax

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Glad you enjoyed reading the blog on Martinus Lørdahl, skatesindreams and Weve3! It's hard enough to excel at one sport, let alone several and he certainly made some very important contributions to skating in his country!

With special thanks to Sandra Bezic and Welcome Little Stranger/The Most Wonderful Wonder podcast, the latest Skate Guard blog looks at The 1971 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Buffalo, New York:

http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/04/the-1971-us-figure-skating-championships.html
 

Weve3

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The latest Skate Guard blog looks at the story of Heinie Brock, one of America's most popular ice comedians in the 30's/40's:

http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/04/a-satirist-from-st-paul-heinie-brock.html
Being an ice comedian can be quite tricky and very challenging…

Much like a dramatic actor realizing their comedian counterparts really do have acting chops usually by experimenting the attempt at comedy themselves only to discover that it’s not easy to successfully make people laugh. To entertain in such a way is to be blessed with the natural talent to begin with.

It’s been said that to make people laugh is harder than to make them cry. Yes, there is some truth to that.

When I think of a modern-day comedian on the ice, or at least an entertainer, my mind cues up Sean Rabbit. Sean enjoys immensely (you can obviously tell :D) entertaining a crowd.

While not for everyone, naturally, I’ve always believed these lighthearted, clownish programs (said w/ utmost respect) have been essential to figure skating history and continue to be. The sport is richer for having included and made room for the happy-go-lucky, satirical skaters on ice by providing them a ‘stage’ through this venue to entertain.

In competition, Alena Leonova’s Charlie Chaplin SP was terrific!!

Enjoyed! Thank you, @N_Halifax.
 

N_Halifax

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I always believed these lighthearted, clownish programs (said w/ utmost respect) have been essential to figure skating history and continue to be. The sport is richer for having included and made room for the happy-go-lucky, satirical skaters on ice by providing them a ‘stage’ through this venue to entertain.

In competition, Alena Leonova’s Charlie Chaplin SP was terrific!!

Enjoyed! Thank you, @N_Halifax.
Glad you enjoyed reading about Heinie Brock! There have been several recent competitive skaters who have really nailed that light-hearted sense of humour in their programs... Leonova's a delightful example, as is Keegan Messing. I have to say that no one will ever top Laurent Tobel though (in my eyes).

The latest trio of Skate Guard blogs are up:

May's #Unearthed (Skating Inspires Ballet): http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/04/unearthed-skating-inspires-ballet.html
The Hard Luck Club: Three Figure Skaters Who Just Couldn't Catch A Break: http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/05/the-hard-luck-club-three-figure-skaters.html
C. Bangs, C. Bangs, Wasted By The Way He Moves: The Chauncey Bangs Story: http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/05/the-hard-luck-club-three-figure-skaters.html
 

pp55

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N_Halifax said:
Interestingly, the dance was first performed at a tempo of forty four beats per minute. l
Wow! It was so slow. I would be hard to show "quickstep rhythm and style".

And I have good memories about this dance. Not many steps, so it pushed for perfect technical skills and perfect unison.
 

Weve3

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Hard to imagine a tempo of forty four beats per minute! :eek: Fascinating how it evolved throughout the years. I wonder how many ice dancers of today know the history?! :) Great stuff! Enjoyed! Thank you! (y)
 

N_Halifax

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Wow! It was so slow. I would be hard to show "quickstep rhythm and style".

And I have good memories about this dance. Not many steps, so it pushed for perfect technical skills and perfect unison.
Hard to imagine a tempo of forty four beats per minute! :eek: Fascinating how it evolved throughout the years. I wonder how many ice dancers of today know the history?! :) Great stuff! Enjoyed! Thank you! (y)
Glad you enjoyed reading! The speed of dances really correlated with the fact that back in the period when many of the compulsory dances were created, skaters were accompanied by a pianist who was relying on a metronome or a record.
The third of this week's trio of Skate Guard blogs is up. It looks the story at a pair of Polish and Ukrainian skating pioneers, Zofia Bilorówna And Tadeusz Kowalski:

http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/05/zofia-bilorowna-and-tadeusz-kowalski.html
 

Weve3

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Glad you enjoyed reading! The speed of dances really correlated with the fact that back in the period when many of the compulsory dances were created, skaters were accompanied by a pianist who was relying on a metronome or a record.
Love that, actually!

Ice Dance is my favorite discipline, so I enjoy reading about and looking back at the progress and improvements it's made and contemplating how ice dancers of today would embrace (or not) performing to the standards of that era.

Every sport benefits from moving forward and evolving, certainly ice dance, but the history is fascinating, and there always seem to be interesting facts, opinions, and bits and pieces of information yet to be discovered.

Thank you for sharing!

The third of this week's trio of Skate Guard blogs is up. It looks the story at a pair of Polish and Ukrainian skating pioneers, Zofia Bilorówna And Tadeusz Kowalski:
This story is wonderful, yet sad and I agree that it does deserve more attention. I do wonder what became of Zofja...

On a lighter note, "Zofia and Tadeusz teamed up in 1926 and the very next year, won their first of an incredible nine consecutive Polish pairs titles." Good for them to have left such a great legacy. Also, the photos are marvelous!!

Thank you!
 

N_Halifax

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Every sport benefits from moving forward and evolving, certainly ice dance, but the history is fascinating, and there always seem to be interesting facts, opinions, and bits and pieces of information yet to be discovered.
So glad that you've been enjoying reading - and you're absolutely right! As the old saying goes "the more you know, the more you don't know." The further you go down the rabbit hole of researching the past, the more you realize that things aren't just cut and dry.

The latest three Skate Guard blogs are up...

The Ice Cycles: http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/05/the-ice-cycles.html
6.0 Canadian Waltzing Champions: http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/05/dashing-duos-stories-of-60-canadian.html
Martin Gordan: http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2018/05/son-of-lazarus-martin-gordan-story.html
 

N_Halifax

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Maximillian

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The latest Skate Guard blog looks back at The 1982 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Brandon, Manitoba:

http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2016/12/the-1982-canadian-figure-skating.html
The latest Skate Guard blog looks back at The 1982 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Brandon, Manitoba:

http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2016/12/the-1982-canadian-figure-skating.html
Great stuff, per usual. Sad to read about Brian Pockar, this would be his last Canadians, correct?
 

N_Halifax

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Thank you again for your very interesting articles, it's always a pleasure. :)
Thanks patchris84 - I love doing what I do, and even after six years I feel like I'm just getting started! ;)

This week's trio of Skate Guard blogs are all up:

Worth The Hassle: The Nicole Hassler Story: https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/2018/06/worth-hassle-nicole-hassler-story.html
The 1949 World Figure Skating Championships: https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-1949-world-figure-skating.html
How The Mohawk Got Its Name: https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/2018/06/how-mohawk-got-its-name.html
 

berthesghost

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When asked why she chose to throw such a lavish get-together, Sonja smiled and told reporters, "No reason. I just felt like having a party."
:lol: this was such an obvious lie, I had to go to wiki and try to figure out what was going on in her life in early ‘55 to prompt this stunt. I think it was simply that she couldn’t get a show going in the US anymore. Having just had a recent comeback success with her European tour she was probably trying to regain the US market she was shut out of in ‘52-53. She did do a successful show in NY in 1/‘56 so maybe it worked on some level but probably not the Hollywood/nationwide level she hoped for. Can’t blame a girl for trying. And Sonja certainly worked every angle of success. There was no one else like Sonja either before or after. (Although there is a certain irony to her handing the best costume prize to Ester Williams)
 

Weve3

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I don’t know about you guys, but I think that Sonja Henie should’ve learned how to chill out and loosen up a little… :summer: :p :D

Also, this remains impressive to read and contemplate to this day: Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and ten-time World Champion!
 

N_Halifax

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That sounds like Sonja at her best.

It also shows what a "powerhouse" she was.
Those attending were the "creme de la creme" of Hollywood.
Absolutely! Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Joan Crawford... these were NOT D-listers.

:lol: this was such an obvious lie, I had to go to wiki and try to figure out what was going on in her life in early ‘55 to prompt this stunt. I think it was simply that she couldn’t get a show going in the US anymore. Having just had a recent comeback success with her European tour she was probably trying to regain the US market she was shut out of in ‘52-53. She did do a successful show in NY in 1/‘56 so maybe it worked on some level but probably not the Hollywood/nationwide level she hoped for. Can’t blame a girl for trying. And Sonja certainly worked every angle of success. There was no one else like Sonja either before or after. (Although there is a certain irony to her handing the best costume prize to Ester Williams)
Your hypothesis makes sense...Sonja spent some time in New York in February and March of that year, attending the premiere of the play "The Dark Is Light Enough" (starring her ex Tyrone Power) and dining at Luchow's. In late March, she rode on the Christmas float with Santa Claus in an old-time circus at Madison Square Garden. Three years after the fact, she was still dealing with the legal aftermath of the bleacher collapse at her show in Baltimore and according to her brother - grain of salt - she was pretty heavy in the scotch around this point in time. Aside from some shows at the Roxy Theatre and in Europe, Sonja's skating itinerary was pretty bleak. Her South American tour the following year wasn't exactly a success... but you're absolutely right - there was no one else like Sonja.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think that Sonja Henie should’ve learned how to chill out and loosen up a little… :summer::p:D

Also, this remains impressive to read and contemplate to this day: Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and ten-time World Champion!
She definitely knew how to throw a party... and you're right - her record is still BEYOND impressive!
 

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